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How to OBNUG: the reader's guide to making the most of the 2009 Boise State football season

Attention regulars, lurkers, flamers, and aspiring bloggers.

The SB Nation platform affords users a wealth of options for interacting with their team. Up until now, I haven't really explained any of them. Please allow me to rectify that and to kick us off on what will be the best blogged season of Boise State football in ever. Follow me. Follow me to freedom!

Fanshots vs. Fanposts

The sidebar is the bacon strip of OBNUG's bacon cheeseburger. It adds flavor and panache and might very well kill you some day. Mmm, bacon.

FanShots and FanPosts make their home in the sidebar both on the main OBNUG homepage and on the onion-like, layered interior pages where I'm sure fives of tens of you get lost every day (No offense, Mikrino). Knowing that FanShots and FanPosts exist is one thing. Using them is entirely another. Here's a primer.

  • The FanShot should be used for quick hits - videos, links, quotes, chats, lists. If you find something interesting but are intimidated by the English language, use a FanShot.
  • The FanPost should be used for blogging. You know blogging. It's that thing you beat up kids in school for doing.

Did you know: FanPosts were first invented in 1775 as a way for Benjamin Franklin to get his TMZ on about Tom Jefferson's social life. Therefore, FanPosts must contain 75 words.

If you see a video of Tom Cable punching an assistant coach, do the following:
  1. Chuckle, but then realize that Houston Nutt is probably doing something just as embarrassing right now.
  2. Move over to your browser where you keep OBNUG open all day (you do have one of those, right?).
  3. Click on "New FanShot."
  4. Select "Video" from the FanShot menu.
  5. Input the HTML embed code from the website where you found the video.
  6. Leave a snappy, snarky sentence or two (snappiness and snarkiness are optional) about the video. I would go with: Cable snaps. Raiders should have gone with DirecTV.
  7. Tag it, tweet it, publish it, then bask in your cleverness, timeliness, and immeasurable popularity among your OBNUG friends.
If you have a take on why you think the movie Terminator: Salvation was a metaphor for the BCS, do the following:
  1. Jump onto OBNUG.
  2. Click on "New FanPost."

  3. Start writing.
  4. When you're finished, run the AutoTagger. It's there for your benefit and for accidentally linking to the Western Michigan Broncos every single time without fail. (/writing support ticket as we speak) Attach a poll if you want. Promote your FanPost if you want. Publish the sucker. Go home and show your wife, husband, significant other, Xbox how you spent your afternoon at work.

Good FanShots have the following characteristics:

  • Are newsworthy, interesting, or both
  • Have catchy titles that actually describe what you're FanShotting
  • Aren't spam
  • Cover topics that haven't already been covered ad nauseum on the main section of OBNUG and didn't happen 11 months ago
  • Marty Tadman

And the good characteristics for FanPosts:

  • Literate
  • Add value to a topic, bring up an intriguing perspective, blow off steam, make babies laugh
  • Possibly include a poll

And that's all there is to it. FanShots and Fan Posts are your way of making your voice heard on OBNUG. And I want to hear your voice. So do Oregon commenters, although they think your voice is ignorant, wrong, and should have been ejected and fined for its hit on Jeremiah Masoli.

Use the bookmarklet, give an angel its wings

Every time you use the bookmarklet, well, ... I don't know. I'll give loque five bucks or something.

That's how much I believe in this little technological doodad that helps make your Internet browsing experience one of ease, slight confusion, then a return to ease. Allow me to address the slight confusion part by using an example from a typical Jared Zabransky browsing experience.

Let's say, hypothetically, Zabransky is shopping online and stumbles across a rugby tee that makes him very happy inside. If only he had a quick way to share the joy of the American Eagle clearance rack with his close, personal OBNUG friends!


Enter bookmarklet.

The bookmarklet is a binary Tinkerbell that snags the info on the page you're visiting and plops it down into a FanShot. Within mere moments, Zabransky could be sharing his buried rugby treasure with the thousands of daily readers on OBNUG (give or take a thousand).

Want to do the same? Head to OBNUG's FanShot listings page. Then, simply left-click on the bookmarklet link, drag it to your bookmark bar, and you're all set. Next time you're on a page that strikes your fancy, click on the bookmarklet and away you go. It is the single greatest invention since the rugby tank.

Note: I have put in a request for a Kellen Moorelet, a Robb Akey stachelet, and a Blizzardlet.

Commenting features

I love it when readers leave comments. It's the reason I keep writing. FFBSU does it for the cash, OBNUG's Nick does it for the chicks, but I do it for your comments. I don't want to make you pick favorites or anything, but ...

The only thing that would make me happier with the comments is if people used all of the beautiful commenting features at their disposal. Allow me to enumerate:

  1. Recommend. If there were a number higher than 1, I would totally have given it to the recommend. Seriously, if you don't remember anything else from this wordy diatribe of semi-useful information, remember this: Recommend things. And when you think you've recommend enough things, recommend some more.

    Recommending happens in a lot of different places on the site. You can recommend posts by the OBNUG gang. You can recommend FanPosts and FanShots from fellow readers. Best of all, you can recommend fellow commenter comments. Love each other. This is the only real family some of us may have.

    Better yet, recommending helps stroke the egos, which is never a bad thing. Each time a comment receives three recommends, it gets highlighted. Never before in the history of OBNUG has anyone ever received three recommendations on a comment. Who will be the first? And what will societal mores demand that I reward that person with?

    (Note: To recommend, click on "actions" at the bottom of a comment, then choose "recommend.")
  2. Flag. I don't want you to use this feature because I want the comments section of OBNUG to be a utopian, Wiggles-like environment of love and trust. But that won't always be the case. So flag people if they step over the line.
  3. Hotkeys. Did you know that you can scroll through comments using the power of your mind and the "z" key?

    Other hotkeys: Press C to tab through new comments, Shift-C to tab backwards, X to mark a comment as read, and Shift-A to mark all read. Z will simultaneously mark and tab forward, and R will reply to the comment that has focus.
  4. Preview. I wish I could tell you that there is a comment edit button, but that would be lying. And lying is only okay when you are a recruiter for the University of Idaho.

    There is, however, a comment "preview" button, which should take away a lot of your commenting angst if you're particularly prone to screwing up or unsure if you're using the blockquote button correctly. Consider it your drunk goggles or pregnant lady pouch. Don't make the same mistakes that others do.
  5. Mobilize. Commenting via mobile phone has been available now for months. So if you're still on the fence about switching from your rotary phone, I would seriously consider doing it now. The rotary phone app is at least another six months away.

Lurkers, repent! The end is near!

I know you're out there. I can see you in my Sitemeter statistics, bouncing at a rate of 37.4 percent.

I hope you've made it this deep into the post because that tells me that A) you enjoy reading OBNUG, B) you care enough about OBNUG to read a bunch of information that has yet to mean anything to you, and C) you are a good person

Excellent. We are good people, too. And we want you to join us.

Becoming an OBNUG member is easy. SB Nation links to already-existing Yahoo IDs and Open IDs, and the sign-up process is simple and straightforward. Even if you never plan on posting a single thing to OBNUG, joining the site will improve your experience here. I guarantee it.

There are loads of benefits to being a member of the OBNUG community, and though swag is not yet one of them, I believe that the following more than make up for it.

  • A personalized browsing experience.
  • Comment control.
  • Adding FanShots and FanPosts willy-nilly.

Step into the light. I'll give you a free comment recommendation.

Twitter is fun, I guess

If you happen to have a Twitter account, Brian Murphy, I would sure appreciate it if you ReTweeted the OBNUG posts that particularly strike your fancy. To do so, go like this:


Click the Retweet button at the top of every post.

That's really all there is to it. And while I'm at it, there are also Facebook and Digg buttons at the bottom of the posts that are just as easy to use. Those of you who count Oregon Trail MS-DOS as your social network of choice are out of luck.

In conclusion

The OBNUG community is already my favorite place to hang out. You guys are fun, humorous, and mostly non-offensive.

Keep these tips in mind as we journey together throughout the 2009 season, and try out something new that you never knew existed. For instance, you could start by rec'ing this post. I need the ego boost.